Senate Appropriations Committee Expands DC School Voucher Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2006

Contact: Drew Courtney at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Other: Array

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said today’s Senate Appropriation Committee expansion of the federally mandated District of Columbia voucher program is bad news for D.C. students and schools.

“Today’s committee vote is a defeat for Washington’s students and public schools.

“Those who first forced this program onto the D.C. school system pledged that it would be carefully evaluated. But since then some have repeatedly tried to expand it without any evidence that it works. The claim that the program had to be expanded in order to make a fair evaluation possible is simply false. Other voucher programs face the same limitations as this one, and their results have been thoroughly and effectively analyzed by researchers. Those studies have not shown any real improvement in student achievement.

“D.C. students deserve a high quality education. Our elected leaders should focus their time, energies, and resources on making public schools stronger, not on expanding an ideologically driven plan that diverts attention from that goal.”